Avi Kaplan – I’ll Get By Thursday, March 05, 2020 By Chip Frazier Sometimes a voice comes along that has the potential to carry an entire album. No instrumentation needed. Avi Kaplan has such a voice. This probably shouldn’t be a surprise given his background in the uber-popular acapella group Pentatonix. I must admit to not being much of a fan of them or acapella groups in general. So, my fondness of Avi Kaplan’s “I’ll Get by” is unexpected. However, the well-arranged folk tunes and tight percussion are mesmerizing. Kaplan attributes his deep connection to folk music and its authenticity to the natural environment he was surrounded by growing up just 40 minutes from Sequoia National Park, in central California. He sings about it on “Born in in California”, “I was born in California. Raised up by the trees. Came out from the mountain. Heart’s a following the breeze”. In addition to being an exceptional Folk singer, Kaplan is an excellent songwriter. His lyrics are very spiritual and touch on some weighty subject matter, like depression and self-doubt. After leaving Pentatonix, he moved deep in the woods near the Tennessee portion of the ancient Natchez Trace trail. His rural cabin has allowed him to reconnect with his love of Folk music. The simplicity of his surroundings is captured in the foot stomping front porch stylings of the album. What Kaplan didn’t intend to do was write a Gospel album, but from my perspective that is exactly what he did. Each song is spiritual and transcendent, with lyrics that reflect a period of deep reflection. His deep baritone voice gives additional gravity to the music. This form of Gospel is very ecumenical, but it is Gospel none the less. He even reflects about wrestling with his sin on “It Knows Me”. On this song he laments, “Crying out in shame Oh, for goodness sake. I tried to disagree… Rest my soul, grace set me free. I know my sins and they know me”. Listen to the title cut below: About the author: Chip and his family live in Birmingham, AL. Roll Tide!